Helen Cloud Austin was only the second black student ever to attend the University of Louisville’s Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work. After moving to Texas, Austin applied to the San Antonio State Hospital for a social work position, but was denied employment due to a “No blacks hired as professional” policy. In 1965, with the help of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, the racist policy was lifted, and Austin became the first African-American professional hired at the San Antonio State Hospital.
Clemente Nicasio Idar was born in Laredo, Texas and was the president and organizer of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). As the first Mexican American organizer in the mainstream labor movement, Idar fought to improve wages and working conditions for Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the United States.
See also information under section on Organizations & Leaders.